The Dietitian's Dish is a new column offering healthy eating tips from GRH's team of registered dietitians. In this edition, Jason DaMaren explores the benefits of root vegetables for health and wellness.
Grilled, baked, roasted, steamed, sautéed, stir fried or in many cases raw, root vegetables are among the most versatile foods that are found in a healthy diet. Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, beets and turnips are excellent at taking nutrients from the Earth and delivering them to your plate.
Why specifically are they good for you?
While each of these hearty plants have their ace’s, eating a variety of them will give you a source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Folate. Their complex carbohydrates can replace grains in a balanced meal and are naturally gluten free (if that’s your focus) as well as a source of soluble fibre.
So what about soluble fibre?
Soluble fibre helps to maintain good gut health while promoting optimal cholesterol levels and tends to be rather satiating. Satiating? Yep, you get a good nutrient punch while keeping your weight in-check by reducing some of those habits you may be trying to kick, such as going for seconds or choosing treats as snacks between meals in a desperate moment of hunger.
OK, OK, where do I start?
If you’re looking for value, choose in-season vegetables as they tend to be at their most flavorful and best price. Timing of seasons will vary based on location and mother nature. If you’re adventurous, try joining a vegetable co-op! For a competitive price you will get fresh, local produce that is in season.
Jason DaMaren is a registered dietitian at Grand River Hospital. He supports patients in the medicine program who are dealing with chronic illness. Jason’s passionate about helping patients overcome nutrition barriers through their medical journey.